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Preventing a future housing crisis

Friday 4 March 2022

Council is doing its bit to curb a worsening housing crisis with the development of a new future-focused strategy.

Council’s Future Development Strategy (FDS) starts this week and will have a huge influence on Tairāwhiti’s growth and housng development over the next 30 years.

Tairāwhiti has a housing crisis and the FDS is one of the tools to solve it.

Working alongside Barker & Associates, who have a proven track record in urban development planning, Council plans is to have the strategy completed by the end of the year.

With a population expected to grow in the next 30 years, a recently completed Housing Business Assessment (HBA) projects Tairāwhiti will need nearly 30% more houses in that time – that’s around 5,000 new homes.

Strategy lead Shane McGhie says the strategy needs to happen now: “Almost half of Tairāwhiti’s population doesn’t earn enough money to buy or rent a house. This will get worse unless something is done about it.”

“One solution is allowing housing intensification to occur in the right places and in the right way.  Redeveloping existing urban areas and building smaller but high-quality dwellings, can bring housing costs down and help create connected communities.”

To make up the existing shortfall and provide for the increased demand, areas need to be identified that are suitable for housing growth.

Once completed, the FDS will map-out where and how different types of development can occur.  This will guide how zoning and rules are changed in the Tairāwhiti Plan.

Mr. McGhie says community involvement is key to this process. “We need to work together to solve this housing crisis and we’ll be working with iwi and asking for community input throughout the development of the FDS”.

He said “All this hard mahi is to plan for the best possible outcomes for our community and while the strategy covers residential, commercial, and industrial land there’s particular focus on providing affordable housing options.  It’s important to carefully plan for this sort of growth. If managed well, growth can bring about benefits for the whole community.”

Council will run community information sessions soon. In the meantime, you can suggest where growth should occur. You can nominate a potential growth area by following the link below.

The FDS is part of the Urban Growth and Development workstream of the Tairāwhiti Plan review – find out more and nominate a potential growth area on our Future Development Strategy Webpage or email the team at trmp@gdc.govt.nz with any questions.